Coach Vinnie Ammirato said if both his young sons grew up to be like Mark Donadio, that would be fine by him. Characteristics include being coachable, respectful and flexible. Friday night at Mount Sinai, you could throw clutch into the mix.
Donadio scored all three of the Mustangs touchdowns, and ran for 139 yards on 13 carries as No. 2 Mount Sinai defeated No. 3 Shoreham-Wading River, 21-0, in a Suffolk IV semifinal. Mount Sinai (9-1) moves on to play Saturday's Mercy-Babylon winner on Nov. 25 at noon at Stony Brook in the final.
"He's a great football player, but more than that, he's a great person," Ammirato said. "When his brother [Matt] got hurt earlier in the year, we asked him to go to halfback . . . He does everything you ask."
Including win the game. Mark Donadio kicked off the scoring on the first play of the second quarter, a toss he took around the left side and delivered to the end zone off a block by Brandon Drumgole near the 5. The 10-yard score capped a 14-play drive in which the Donadio brothers accounted for 76 of the 88 yards.
The Wildcats' ensuing possession died at the Mount Sinai 46, and this time, when Mark Donadio got the ball, he didn't share. The fullback took all seven carries of the next drive and scored on a 15-yard run off right tackle with 3:50 left in the second quarter. The Mustangs controlled possession in the first half, limiting Shoreham-Wading River (7-3) to three ineffectual drives of 1:27, 3:42 and 3:38.
Donadio notched his third TD in the third, a short pass from Billy Tartaglia that he powered upfield for a 47-yard score with 5:07 left. Shoreham's only real scoring threat came in the fourth, when the Wildcats marched down to the 16 before back-to-back sacks by Ryan Clark and Sal Maresca turned the ball over on downs.
"It's a load off our shoulders," Donadio said, heeding his coach's advice to keep his postgame reaction subdued and his celebratory comments short. "Our O-line held up the blocks and opened up the field and opened up the way."
Just another example of Donadio doing what he's told, and doing it well.